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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Waterloo Central School District - Financial Condition Management (2019M-137)

Released: October 4, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials adequately managed the District’s financial condition.

Key Findings

District officials:

  • Consistently adopted budgets that in total overestimated appropriations by $9.3 million for 2015-16 through 2017-18.
  • Approved more than $9.3 million in unbudgeted year-end transfers to reserves and the capital projects fund.
  • Maintained six reserves with balances totaling $9.6 million as of June 30, 2018, that were potentially overfunded or unnecessary.

Key Recommendations

The Board and District officials should:

  • Provide transparency by developing and adopting budgets that include reasonable estimates of appropriations.
  • Comply with the statutory limit for fund balance and use surplus funds as a financing source for one-time expenditures, paying down debt or reducing property taxes.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on an issue raised in the District’s response letter.

Background

The Waterloo Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Waterloo, Fayette, Seneca Falls, Junius and Tyre in Seneca County. The District is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education (Board) which is responsible for the general management and control of the District’s financial affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools is the chief executive officer and is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for the District’s day-to-day management under the Board’s direction. The Board appointed a Business Administrator, who is responsible for all aspects of the District’s business and financial activities, including budgeting.

Quick Facts
Student Enrollment1,592
2018-19 General Fund Appropriations$39.9 million
Total Balance of Reserve Funds as of June 30, 2018$20.4 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2015 – March 1, 2019

We extended our scope period forward through May 31, 2019, to review the 2019-20 adopted budget.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.ny.gov
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236